Hi, Brent here! I’m really excited to welcome you to class.

Get your brain ready by taking the classes in order.

I recommend that you take the classes in this order:

  1. How to Think Like the Engine
  2. How I Use the First Responder Kit
  3. Fundamentals of Index Tuning
  4. Optional: Fundamentals of Columnstore (you can skip this one, though – it’s only for people who want to use columnstore indexes. The rest of the classes below aren’t dependent on this one. This one also has its own separate prerequisites: it requires the much larger Mastering class VM.)
  5. Fundamentals of Query Tuning
  6. Fundamentals of Parameter Sniffing
  7. Fundamentals of TempDB

Get your computer ready too.

All of the Fundamentals courses except Fundamentals of Columnstore have the same prerequisites, so if you’ve set up for any of ’em, you’re ready to go.

Set yourself up a SQL Server:

  • SQL Server 2017 or newer, either Developer Edition or Evaluation Edition. Download pages are linked from SQLServerUpdates.com. Express Edition, Azure SQL DB, and Amazon RDS won’t work, unfortunately.
  • Use the default collation during install, SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS (don’t get fancy with binary collations)
  • Apply the latest Cumulative Update
  • Install the most recent SQL Server Management Studio

To follow along with the demos, download the 50GB Stack Overflow 2013 database. I’ll be using the medium-sized 50GB StackOverflow2013 database, and it’s vital that you use the same one. Query tuning and parameter sniffing is all about getting different behavior based on your query’s parameters, so I need you to have the exact same data distribution that I’ll be working with onscreen.

Install SQLQueryStress for load testing.

SQLQueryStress is an easy, free, open source load testing utility. Download the latest version (zip), and extract it to a folder. You don’t have to run a setup or anything – it’s just a single .exe file that you can run whenever you want to do a load test.

Then, download my load test files and extract those to the same folder.

Attending live? Join the Slack to ask questions.

If you’re attending the class live, then to ask questions and talk to the other attendees, get an instant invite to Slack here, then join the #BrentOzarUnlimited channel. This way attendees can help each other with their questions during the live labs.

8 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Mr Ozar,

    Is it possible for a group of people to share a single database for this class? It would be great (and much cheaper!) if I could set up one larger database that four to five people connect in to, rather than creating multiples of the same system.

    Hope you are well.


  • John Megens
    March 8, 2021 4:38 pm

    Hi Brent,

    The link ‘download the ~1MB zip file of slide PDFs here (last updated 2021-01-24)’ gives me an Error:

    The AWS Access Key Id you provided does not exist in our records.

  • Hi Brent,

    The link to get an invite to the Slack community is saying it is no longer active.

    Is there a new way to get access to the Slack channels?

    Thanks very much!


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